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Discussion Starter #1
Dell Dimension 8250
Intel Pentium 4
Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
2 GB RDRAM
111GB hard drive (98GB free space)

I have a Del computer (spec above) which has WIndows XP Professional installed. I ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and it appears that apart from a Creative Labs Gameport driver (I intend to replace the video card) there should be no problems doing a clean install of Window 7 (I am aware that it is not possible to upgrade from XP). However, during the installation I got the following message.

"Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation. To install Windows, restart the installation."

I then looked on the Internet for advice and ran a chkdsk /r /f check which found no errors. I then disabled my antivirus program (BitDefender) and tried again but got the same message.

Does anyone have any further advice to allow me to install Windows 7 on this computer?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did a full (not quick) reformat of the hard drive before I reinstalled Windows XP Pro a week ago. I then installed Bitdefender. Later, I decided to upgrade to Window 7 but had the problem stated above.
 

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Are you using a Windows 7 disc, and not a USB?
The BIOS may not have native SATA support also, so the hard drive and DVD Rom may not function.
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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You would have had more trouble with installing XP if the issue here was the MOBO's native support for SATA storage. It is important that we know which media you are using for Seven installation, ie CD or USB thumb drive?
 

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I remember long ago a customer asked me to install windows 7 on that very system. Well I had to use a different video card other than the dell supplied 9700 Pro it was using,. It was a known issue at the time and swapping it out with an nvidia 6200 AGP did the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:facepalm:Sorry for the delay in replying. To answer the questions posed above: I am using genuine WIndow 7 Home Premium Upgrade disks and my Video Card is an ATI Radeon x850. The hard drive is PATA. I had another go at installling Windows 7 and got the same failure message.:facepalm:
 

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The problem may be, you are using an upgrade disc, which is meant for an upgrade from Vista to 7.
To do an install of W7, you need the full version.
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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If my understanding is correct, you cannot use upgrade discs to perform a clean install of Windows; I believe the upgrade discs were introduced with Vista (not sure). If I remember correctly, the upgrade discs are supposed to be used for upgrades only, meaning you must have a supported version of the operating system already installed and since you cannot do an in place upgrade from XP to Seven, those discs are of no use for your intended purposes. Those discs would work when upgrading from Vista to Seven and I believe the discs (setup) have to be run from within the existing operating system. I'm afraid you'll need "full" installation media for Seven as opposed to upgrade discs.
 

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With XP on the computer, you need to select Custom Install when booting from the Windows 7 upgrade disc.

The upgrade disc, will recognize XP, then format the drive and install Windows 7.
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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With XP on the computer, you need to select Custom Install when booting from the Windows 7 upgrade disc.

The upgrade disc, will recognize XP, then format the drive and install Windows 7.
I agree that this ought to work. I thus clarify that you can indeed perform a clean install of Windows Seven using upgrade media as alpendiver has directed. You still need to have a previous installation of Windows (at least XP) because the upgrade setup checks for one as a compliance check to test if you qualify for an upgrade. After XP is recognised, you can go ahead and format the drive and clean install Windows seven without problems. Note that this is the only option supported for XP, i.e, you cannot do an in-place upgrade whereby your data, settings and installed programs are retained. If you had formatted the drive already, a double install is necessary. You have to install XP first, then run Seven upgrade setup from within XP so that XP is detected to allow you to proceed with the upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First a recap. Maybe I have not made my progress so far clear. I had formatted the hard drive, installed Windows XP Professional (original Dell disk) and found the necessary drivers on the web to get everything to work - that is there were no driver issues shown in Device Manager. I checked the computer using the Windows 7 compatabiliy program and apart from a game port issue it appeared to be okay to go ahead with the Windows 7 full installation (but not upgrade). I then tried to install Windows 7 using the genuine Microsoft upgrade disk and got the fail message stated above. I did not get a reformat option during this process - but my drive is NTFS anyway.

Now the new info. Acting on advice above (which may not be correct) I tried to install Windows 7 via an initial upgrade to Vista Home Premium (Dell disk) but got the same fail message during the process. Therefore it appears not to be just a Windows 7 issue with the computer. Why it can install Windows XP and not Windows Vista or Windows 7 is a mystery to me. The computer is way out of warranty and so there is no way I can get advice direct from Dell. However, I will try their Support Forum and see if anyone else has had the same problem. I will let you know if I find anything useful.

Once again, thanks for your help.
 

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did you go to dells website to see if they had win7 drivers for your computer? if not, then there is a good chance win7 may not work. you should also check to see if there is a bios update for win7.
 

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make sure you are not in windows reboot from the dvd f12 for boot options .dvd/cd drive windows 7 should then start.

is will say setup is copy files.

then should start then, drive options delete the partition on the hard drive if there is one then format it. then custom install.

this will install a new copy of windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Regarding the last reply, I am using a upgrade disk and so a boot option is not possible. I am still awaiting a response from Dell.
 
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